How to turn on the away time in office communicator

Updated July 20, 2017

Workers can instantly communicate with colleagues in a variety of locations using the Microsoft Office Communicator application with telephone, voice over Internet protocol, instant messaging, video conferencing and desktop-sharing capabilities. Communicator's presence function automatically modifies a user's away time based on current computer use, activity level and Outlook's calendar schedule. Users can also change the presence status manually following these steps.

Open the Microsoft Office Communicator window. Navigate to the status area on the page.

Click on your name, then click on the "Away" status option.

Navigate back to the main Communicator window.

Click on the "Actions" menu in the Communicator window. Click on the "Options" button, then click on the "Rules" tab.

View the "Show Me as Away" time options in the status area. Click on a time between 5 minutes to 1 hour.

Click on "OK" to return to the main Communicator window.


The "Away" status also turns on if the computer's screensaver turns on or if the computer is locked before the inactivity time elapses.

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Eloise Brown is a freelance writer specializing in education, family and lifestyle topics. Her career has included administrative, marketing and public relations roles for nonprofit, health-care and technology organizations.